In less than a month, Apple will unveil three new iPhones along with a handful of other hardware products at its fall event. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, arguably the most reliable Apple analyst out there, recently told clients that there would be a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, a 5.8-inch successor to the iPhone X, and a new 6.1-inch model with an LCD screen. Kuo and the rumor mill have revealed a lot about the upcoming devices. But there is little clarity on the new iPhone names.
Can you predict the new iPhone names?
A variety of naming patterns for the upcoming iPhones have been flying around for months, and most of them are guesses. Last year, Apple released the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (pronounced “ten”). The names iPhone 8 and 8 Plus made sense and were justified. But the company chose to call its radically redesigned smartphone iPhone X (ten) to reflect that it was a futuristic device. And of course, it was a play on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.
Now Apple is preparing to launch its 2018 iPhones, and the only way it could pick the new iPhone names without confusing consumers is by changing the naming scheme. If it chooses to call the iPhone X successor iPhone XI (eleven). What will the 6.5-inch and 6.1-inch models be called – iPhone XI Plus and iPhone 9? Launching the iPhone 11 and iPhone 9 simultaneously will once again complicate the naming pattern.
The 6.1-inch LCD variant will be a “lower-end” model with less advanced features than the other two. So, the name iPhone 9 makes sense for it. But what about the more expensive OLED models? Some experts suggest the 5.8-inch iPhone X successor could be named iPhone X2 and the 6.5-inch model iPhone X Plus. But then, iPhone X Plus should be a device launching alongside iPhone X, not iPhone X2.
Guggenheim Securities analyst Robert Cihra predicts Apple will simplify the new iPhone names this year. Cihra believes the tech giant will keep the ‘X’ branding on both the OLED models to denote their superior specifications. The 6.1-inch LCD variant could simply be referred to as ‘iPhone’ or ‘6.1-inch iPhone’ without any numbering. The iPhone X successor could be named ‘iPhone X (2018)’ or ‘New iPhone X,’ as Apple has done with the iPad line in the past. And the 6.5-inch model could be called the iPhone X Plus.
This naming pattern looks sensible
French site Les Numeriques has learned from inside sources what the new iPhone names would be. According to the publication, the 6.1-inch LCD model will be called iPhone 9, the 5.8-inch OLED model iPhone XS, and the 6.5-inch OLED variant iPhone XS Plus. This naming scheme makes sense, but there are a few things that need to be pointed out. It’ll be strange to launch iPhone 9 a year after the iPhone X (ten). And second, some people thought Apple killed the ‘S’ moniker when it skipped the ‘iPhone 7S’ to launch iPhone 8 last year.
Anyway, we will find out the new iPhone names soon. Apple is expected to officially announce the three new iPhones in the first half of September. It’s worth pointing out that the names themselves won’t be that important as long as the products are great. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, all the three models would sport an iPhone X-like design with a display notch, which was expected.
The 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Plus would have nearly identical specs except for the screen size and battery size. But the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone 9 (or just ‘iPhone’) will not only get an inferior LCD screen, but also get rid of the 3D Touch functionality to keep its costs down. It would also have a slightly lower 3GB RAM compared to 4GB on the other two; and a single rear camera versus dual cameras on the OLED variants.
All the three upcoming iPhones would feature the TrueDepth camera system that supports Face ID and Animoji features. Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the 6.1-inch LCD model would be priced between $600 and $700 for the base model, and it could be the most popular model this year. It would offer iPhone X-like design and features at an attractive price. The second-generation iPhone X could be priced at $899, according to Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News. And the 6.5-inch version would have a base price of $999. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPhone XS Plus selling at an even higher price.